Wyoming’s Republican secretary of state has filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of former President Trump remaining on the Colorado ballot, and he is urging his counterparts around the country to help end the “weaponization” of the 14th Amendment.
“We must stop, as secretaries of state, the radical left’s un-American and unconstitutional attempts to weaponize the 14th Amendment against Trump and the American people. And we’re going to keep working as we have to ensure that Trump will go on the ballot,” Wyoming Secretary of State Chuck Gray told Fox News Digital in a phone interview Thursday.
Gray’s amicus brief, also known as a “friend of the court” brief, is the only one filed by a secretary of state explicitly in support of Trump remaining on the ballot, as opposed to other secretaries who filed a brief with the Supreme Court but argued on behalf of neither party, while Gray’s argues in support of Trump as the petitioner.
The Wyoming Republican argues that there was no engagement in an insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, and that the 14th Amendment cannot be invoked to bar Trump from the ballot as he was not an officer of the United States, but president.
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“The notion that the President is not an ‘Officer of the United States’ is strange to the modern colloquial ear. But the phrase has a specific meaning that plainly excludes the President, reinforced by decades of precedent. The Colorado Supreme Court erred in concluding contrary to this long-settled understanding,” the amicus brief, provided to Fox News Digital, states.
America First Legal, a conservative legal group led by former Trump adviser Stephen Miller, filed the amicus brief on behalf of Gray, with the group’s vice president lauding the Republican secretary of state for his commitment to “the rule of law.”
“The Colorado Supreme Court’s decision is completely inconsistent with the text and historical interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Secretary Gray is an American patriot committed to the rule of law, and we are thrilled to be able to file this brief on his behalf,” America First Legal vice president and general counsel Gene Hamilton told Fox News Digital in a statement.
“We’ve been on it from the start. We saw this coming. Just as an observer from 2015 on, you could see where the radical left was going to try to go with this…”
A group of Colorado voters brought forth a lawsuit arguing Trump should be deemed ineligible from holding political office under a Civil War-era insurrection clause and that his name should thus be barred from appearing on the 2024 ballot. The group said Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, 2021, when supporters breached the U.S. Capitol, violated a clause in the 14th Amendment that prevents officers of the United States, members of Congress or state legislatures who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the Constitution from holding political office.
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The Colorado Supreme Court ultimately ruled to bar Trump from the ballot, with justices writing in their opinion that Trump “incited and encouraged” the use of violence to prevent the peaceful transfer of power on Jan. 6, 2021, following the 2020 presidential election.
“Even if the President were an ‘Officer of the United States,'” Gray’s brief states, “Former President Trump did not commit either of the two acts described in section 3— ‘engag[ing] in insurrection or rebellion’ against the United States or ‘giv[ing] aid or comfort to the enemies’ of the United States. Each of these disqualifying offenses is distinct and each contains its own elements.”
Gray explained that the brief outlines that the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling is “bunk” and “should be thrown out.”
“President Trump should be on the ballot and the Supreme Court should be very clear on that. And that’s, I think, the kind of leadership that we need from secretaries of state. And that’s why we partnered with America First Legal. We really appreciate Gene Hamilton and Jeff Stone … they’re really brilliant legal minds and focused on ensuring election integrity,” Gray told Fox News Digital.
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Ahead of the state Supreme Court’s ruling, Gray had filed a separate amicus brief with the court to rectify a lower court in the state labeling Trump an “insurrectionist” in relation to the Jan. 6 protests at the U.S. Capitol. Even back over the summer, Gray took notice that there might be efforts to remove Trump from primary ballots and sent a letter to the secretary of state in New Hampshire warning him against such a move.
“We’ve been on it from the start. We saw this coming. Just as an observer from 2015 on, you could see where the radical left was going to try to go with this, because it’s in line with what they’ve been doing now for a decade. [They’re] trying to do all they can in stopping America First policies and stopping President Trump,” Gray told Fox in the Thursday interview.
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More than 170 Republican House and Senate leaders also filed an amicus brief in support of Trump’s case before the Supreme Court on Thursday, Fox News Digital reported. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., filed the brief, arguing the Colorado court’s decision “encroaches” on Congress’ powers.
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”The radical left consistently does what they claim their opponents are doing. While President Biden and his allies claim they are defending democracy, their supporters are working to undermine democracy by banning Biden’s likely general election opponent from appearing on the ballot,” Cruz said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “The American people see through this, and I’m confident the Supreme Court will as well.”
Fox News Digital’s Jamie Joseph contributed to this article.